Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “Listen, I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality. When this corruptible body is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, death, is your victory? Where death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 (CSB)
Our thought for today: The consummation of your salvation will be complete.”
We now know that salvation is a process that unfolds in three distinct phases. It begins with the moment of decision when you open your heart and place your faith in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. It continues with the “working out” of your salvation, as the Apostle Paul wrote about in Philippians 2:12-13. This is the lifelong transformation called “sanctification”. The third phase is the consummation of our salvation. It occurs in two stages, the first is when this mortal body dies and we arrive in heaven with the spiritual stature that will be ours for eternity. The consummation is finalized on the day of the second coming of Christ, when all believers receive their resurrection body. That’s what we read about in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55.
In this passage Paul reveals some intriguing details about what that day will be like. For those who are still alive on earth at that time, he tells us that those folks will not experience the physical death of their mortal bodies. Instead, they will simply rise to meet Christ in the air and they will instantaneously go from being in their mortal bodies into their resurrection bodies. This event is known as the rapture.
We also learn from this passage that those who have died and whose mortal bodies turned to dust, they will now be raised and reunited with their spirit, but in a resurrection body. Somehow, miraculously, the Lord gathers and reclaims all the scattered elements of what had been your mortal body. He re-forms and raises the body, unites it with your spirit which has been with Him in heaven all this time, and instantly transforms it all into a perfected resurrected body that will live for eternity.
When Paul writes that the corrupt mortal body must be clothed with incorruptibility and immortality, he’s simply emphasizing the point that the old mortal body just won’t do for life in an eternal paradise. We need that resurrection body in order to fully enjoy what the Lord has in store for us. This is the consummation of our salvation. Our full spiritual stature joined with a perfected resurrected body to enjoy eternity in a perfect paradise.
There is one more important passage of Scripture we need to look at in order to fully understand this moment when the consummation of our salvation is completed. It has to do with the sequencing of events and we will look at it tomorrow.